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Motorola hits comeback trail with new U.S.-made phone

Motorola Mobility CEO Dennis Woodside speaks at a Motorola phone launch event in New York, September 5, 2012. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
Motorola Mobility CEO Dennis Woodside speaks at a Motorola phone launch event in New York, September 5, 2012. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

RANCHO PALOS VERDES (Reuters) - Motorola plans to launch a new, made-in-the-U.S. smartphone, CEO Dennis Woodside said on Wednesday, confirming speculation the once-dominant cellphone maker intends to make a comeback in the hotly competitive mobile market.

Motorola, which Google Inc bought for $12.5 billion in 2012, has steadily ceded market share to Apple Inc and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, with its latest phones garnering a relatively lukewarm reception. The new phone, called the Moto X, will be built at a 500,000 square-feet facility in Texas that will employ 2,000 people by August.

Woodside told the AllThingsD conference in Palos Verdes that he was "pretty confident in the products we're going to be shipping in the fall."

The new smartphone will debut in a market dominated by the iPhone and Samsung's Galaxy range of devices. Woodside said the Moto X would benefit from Motorola's expertise in managing ultra-low power sensors -- such as in accelerometers and gyroscopes -- that can sense usage contexts and power down certain components when not required, thereby conserving power.

Motorola's engineers have also come up with processors that will help save power, he said without elaborating.

Revenue at the Motorola business dwindled to $1.02 billion in the first three months of the year, from $1.51 billion in the fourth quarter. It posted an operating loss of $271 million.

(Reporting by Alexei Oreskovic; Editing by Andre Grenon and Stephen Coates)

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